Turning 21 is a big milestone in a person’s life. There are many advantages that come along with reaching this monumental age. For instance, you can purchase alcohol, adopt a child, supervise a person who is learning to drive, gamble—oh yeah, and one more thing: travel through time.
In British writer and director Richard Curtis’ new film “About Time,” this is exactly the case for Tim Lake, played by Domhnall Gleeson.
With a history of successful films such as “Notting Hill” and “Love, Actually,” it is no surprise that Curtis delivered another cheeky romantic comedy. “About Time” features sappy sweet talk, fantastical tendencies and an all-you-can-eat serving of quirky charm. However, just when you feel like you may be getting bored, Curtis switches things up.
“About Time” tells the tale of an awkward yet terribly endearing man whose father lets him in on a little secret just as he’s about celebrate his twenty-first birthday. What’s that secret you might ask? Oh, nothing too extraordinary, just that all the men in their family can travel through time when they turn 21.
But of course there is a catch. He cannot change history but simply make revisions to his own past experiences. So what’s the first thing he does? What any 21-year-old male would do: go back and fix those painful romantic encounters of course.
Through his time traveling, he comes into contact with his love interest Mary, played by the always lovely Rachel McAdams.
A man who can travel through time whose love interest is McAdams—where have I seen this before?
Because McAdams does have an ironic past with fictional tales that involve time travel, as she has starred in roles in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Midnight In Paris,” it makes Curtis’ decision to select McAdams for this role a little bit questionable. But hey, at least he knows she’s good at it.
One of the best decisions that Curtis made for this film was choosing Gleeson as the leading role. Curtis could have gone with someone more well known in Hollywood to replace Hugh Grant from Curtis’ previous leading male characters; nevertheless, because Gleeson is still very green to the silver screen, it made the film that much more genuine.
Despite the fact that the film withholds some very predictable characteristics, there is something about Gleeson’s quirky charm and organic awkwardness that brings a smile to your face and keeps your eyes fixated on the screen.
“About Time” highlights the fact that even given the opportunity to do something over in one’s life, it may not be the best solution—definitely a classic in my opinion.